Saturday 8 December 1660

To Whitehall to the Privy Seal, and thence to Mr. Pierces the Surgeon to tell them that I would call by and by to go to dinner. But I going into Westminster Hall met with Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Pen (who were in a great fear that we had committed a great error of 100,000l. in our late account gone into the Parliament in making it too little), and so I was fain to send order to Mr. Pierces to come to my house; and also to leave the key of the chest with Mr. Spicer; wherein my Lord’s money is, and went along with Sir W. Pen by water to the office, and there with Mr. Huchinson we did find that we were in no mistake. And so I went to dinner with my wife and Mr. and Mrs. Pierce the Surgeon to Mr. Pierce, the Purser (the first time that ever I was at his house) who does live very plentifully and finely. We had a lovely chine of beef and other good things very complete and drank a great deal of wine, and her daughter played after dinner upon the virginals, and at night by lanthorn home again, and Mr. Pierce and his wife being gone home I went to bed, having drunk so much wine that my head was troubled and was not very well all night, and the wind I observed was rose exceedingly before I went to bed.

36 Annotations

First Reading

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

" and the wind I observed was rose exceedingly before I went to bed."

I am struck (not stricken) by the conjugation of "was rose" and wonder when "risen" came into use as, I think, a past participle.

The phrase is suspensful, and makes one wonder what the morning will bring -- or am I too much influenced by Mary Poppins?

vincent  •  Link

"...having drunk so much wine that my head was troubled and was not very well all night, and the wind I observed was rose exceedingly before I went to bed..."
which wind? Even the best of Writers do need editors, to correct mistakes made when they are in their cups, and especially after having visions of enjoying the view (incorporeal)from the tower [of London].

David Quidnunc  •  Link

beef and wine in December -- 'tis the season

"December was the season - the only season - for fresh meat. Animals could not be slaughtered until the weather was cold enough to ensure that the meat would not go bad, and any meat saved for the rest of the year would have to be preserved (and rendered less palatable) by salting. December was also the month when the year's supply of beer or wine was ready to drink.”
- Stephen Nissenbaum, 'The Battle for Christmas,' pp 5-6.

A quick check at all the date references at the bottom of the wine page shows it mentioned at all times of the year). But it may well be more available and cheaper this month. Same for beef.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"CHINE of beef"

Webster's New World Dictionary defines "chine" as "a cut of meat containing part of the backbone."

To "chine," according to the same dictionary, is "to cut along or across the backbone of (a carcass of meat)."

vincent  •  Link

Meat in Winter; this revolution was not only about Lauds ,Ladies ,kings and Earls, 'tis maths, time,perspectives, magnefying glass and population growth[boring part] and farming from mundane; carrots peas,CLOVER, and getting goose to market. So many changes in diet.
Clover was a major ingredient in the growth of London: diet vs plague; Fresh meat around longer For the Cattle fodder for the humans unsalted meats.. It seems strange that the Thames froze yet this year will be the warmest since 1659?

3 refs for fodder :

The innovations in this four year rotation system were turnips and clover. Turnips were not a new crop to English farming because they had been grown in East Anglia for use as cattle feed, fodder for livestock, during the winter months, since the 1660's. However, this was the first time they had been used in crop rotation. Charles Townshend was later to be known as "Turnip" Townshend because of his use of this crop in the four year rotation system.…
Legacie (1651), which passes under the name of Samuel Hartlib
farming and changes in ways using clove and lucerne…
Sir Richard Weston's Discourse on the Husbandry of Brabant and Flanders was published by Hartlib in 1645, and its title indicates the source to which England owed much of its subsequent agricultural advancement…

Mary  •  Link

Meat in winter

Even before the development of cheap winter feed, December was not the only month in which animals were slaughtered, though the slaughter rate would increase sharply as winter set in. In 1661 Charles issued a proclamation reminding butchers that they were not to kill 'flesh' during Lent; slaughterers, meat markets and butchers operated throughout the year and in the warmer months meat was eaten very fresh indeed.... practically slaughtered on one's doorstep, as Liza Picard points out.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Good point Vincent - which wind? Assuming that it was the aeolian variety, it was a common superstition in SP's time that a strong wind, particularly at night, was a harbinger of death, either that of someone close or a 'famous personage'. This belief survives in many places in Britain and possibly elsewhere. (Of course, if a tree falls on you it ceases to be a superstition.)

tony t.  •  Link

'Warmest since 1659'
Vincent - you have been misled by the UK press here. The significance of 1659 is simply that it is the earliest year for which reliable records exist. Using '1659' rather than 'since records began'just makes a better headline.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Warmest since 1659 - tony t. I try to keep up with the UK press via the internet, but I missed this topic entirely. I am wondering how 'reliable records' (regarding temperature, at least) could have been kept well before the development of the thermometer. Perhaps somebody could provide a link.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Further to my annotation above, I have just found a link (The Independent) that does refer to 'records'. But I am still perplexed re temperatures. I do not think that this subject is 'off topic', unless we get into dendrochronology, or the Thames freezing,(which has admittedly been 'done to death'.) SP frequently refers to a 'hard frost', from which it can certainly be inferred that it was below freezing, but my question stands, I think.

Rick Ansell  •  Link

The principle reason that the Thames no longer freezes in London is the replacement of the old London Bridge (in 1831, with a subsequent further replacement). The new bridge didn't block the waters any way as much as the old, which, together with the reduction of the rivers width by the building of the Embankments, has speeded the rivers flow, making it less likely to freeze.

Its not completely impossible though, it froze in the legendarily cold winter of 1963, which, as far as I know, was the last time it happened.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"any meat...would have to be salting" at least ducks and pigs could be preserved after cooking in their own fat "confit"

A. De Araujo  •  Link

also by smoking

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Regarding dendrochronology, recent discoveries seem to show that Sam is in the middle of a very happy period for people acquiring new violins, possibly caused by Europe being in the grip of the 'Little Ice Age', which reached its coldest point during the 70-year period from 1645-1715 known as the Maunder Minimum, named after the 19th century solar astronomer, E.W. Maunder, who documented a lack of solar activity during the period.

Read this link for an account of research into dendrochronology and climatology and the link between the weather and the manufacture of Stradivarius violins. Of course, Antonio Stradivarius is, as Pepys writes, only sixteen or seventeen years old so Sam will have to wait a few years if he wants to acquire one of his products.…

PHE  •  Link

I've copied the 'weather' entries here into the 'Science & Technology/Weather' section. My own interest is as a Gobal Warming cynic. Its no surprise temperatures are warmer now than atanytime since 1659 if that was in the middle of a Little Ice Age - though I presume if anyone wants to further comment on that, it'd be best under the Science section!

bruce  •  Link

Apropos preserving meat: why was beef or mutton always salted, whereas fish could be salted or smoked, and hams were usually smoked? Is it not effective to smoke beef or mutton? Wouldn't smoking meat have kept it more palatable than salting it? (to say nothing about the effect on their blood pressure of all that salt....)!

Sam Dodsworth  •  Link

Smoking meat:

Smoking requires a lot of fuel, and space for smokehouses if it's done in quantity. Salting, on the other hand, needs only salt and some tubs or barrels - easier to do, and it can be transported while it's curing.

I suspect the size of the cuts of meat may have something to do with it, too - ham is actually cured with salt or brine, and only sometimes smoked afterwards.

john simmons  •  Link

Air Dried Beef...that delicious specialty of Haute Savoie, served at a couple of places in Paris, haven't a clue how it's done..but that and a good bottle of white burgundy and you're home free...j.s.

cindy_b  •  Link

This entry reads like a list of headache causes...
1. A huge emotional stress with a sudden release
2. Too much wine (especially red wine)
3. A change in the weather (large change in barometric pressure)

It's no wonder the poor guy's "head was troubled"!

tc  •  Link

"...I was fain to send order..."

Does one detect a note of peevishness in Sam's entry? Dragged into the office to double check the wonders how confident he was in his figures.

And in "...we did find we were in no mistake."

Is that a I-told-you-so, Sir W. Pen? Or a sense of relief that Sam himself didn't make a "great error"?

language hat  •  Link

The innovations in this four year rotation system were turnips and clover:
These innovations were imported from Holland, whose inhabitants were the first to develop modern farming methods (planting fertilizing crops like clover rather than letting fields lie fallow, and growing for sale rather than subsistence) from (I believe) the 15th century on. Because the English adopted them early, they had a good supply of food during periods when the French and other laggards were starving.

language hat  •  Link

Lanthorn is another name for a lantern:
It's just a variant spelling; as the OED says, "The form lanthorn is prob. due to popular etymology, lanterns having formerly been almost always made of horn."

language hat  •  Link

wonder when 'risen' came into use as, I think, a past participle:
It’s always been the most common form; it’s just that for a while there was competition from “ris” and “rose,” and usage fluctuated for a long time before settling down (in official written English) because of the stabilization caused by dictionaries and grammars. The OED lists the three branches thus (I’ve only included a couple of citations for each):

a: 3 risenn, 4- risen (4 risun, 4-5 risin, 7 ris’n); 4-5 resen (5 -in, -ine), 4-6 resyn, 6 reysen; 5 rissyn (6 Sc. rissin(e), ryssyn, rysun, 5-6 rysen, -yn; 9 dial. ruzzen.
c.1200 Ormin 11552 Affterr ?att he wass.. risenn upp. 1667 Milton P.L. iv. 624 To morrow.. we must be ris’n.

b: 4 i-rise, 4, 6-7 rise, 5 rys, 7 risse, rize, rizze, 7, 9 ris, 9 dial. ris’, riss, riz.
1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) VIII. 21 Zif eny sclaundre were i-rise. 1866 Lowell Biglow P. Ser. ii. Poems 1890 II. 222 A betch o’ bread that hain’t riz. 1890 J. Clare Pearl i. v, He’s ris’ in the world.

c: 6-8, 9 dial. rose.
a.1593 Marlowe Edw. II, i. iv, Had some bloodless fury rose from hell. 1884 J. C. Egerton Sussex Folk & Ways 100 A hurt which had rose a hump on her back.

vincent  •  Link

"Rise and Raise " when it comes getting more money. One side of the pond say it is a "pay rise", the other, it is "pay raise". Of course the pay rose beyond all expectations and not risen to level of the others..

dirk  •  Link

Smoked meat

Beef was also smoked instead of salted occasionally - at least some parts of the animal were. This is still done today by the way. Don't ask me which parts of the ox or cow were more regularly smoked resp. salted - I don't have the details.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Prime Chine Time

Nissenbaum certainly seems to exaggerate by saying early winter was the "only" time for fresh meat. But beef was may have been cheaper in the late fall and early winter.

One indication of that is the number of times Pepys mentions "chine of beef" in the diary. Of the 17 occasions when the phrase shows up in the diary, Pepys mentions it five times in December (29 percent), thrice in January (18 percent), twice in November and twice in October (12 percent each). February, March, April and September each have only one appearance of "chine of beef" and no in other months (that is, May through August) does it appear.

December is obviously the big month for it, and nearly half of the mentions are in December and January.…

Harry  •  Link

who were in a great fear that we had committed a great error of 100,000l. in our late account gone into the Parliament in making it too little.

I am surprised nobody has commented on what I believe must have been a really dramatic episode for Sam. As a retired chartered accountant and auditor, I well remember that one lived in constant fear of being involved in a material misstatement or certifying wrong / fraudulent accounts. In this case, the 100,000l. understatement could result in money voted by Parliament running out before everyone had been paid off ,followed by an indignant public outcry. This could destroy the reputation and career of a young and ambitious civil servant. In the event it turned out all right, as we somehow felt was likely all along, but nevertheless Sam will have spent an anxious moment before being finally vindicated!

David Quidnunc  •  Link

In Theatre News Today . . .

"When did actresses first appear on the British stage?

"Before the English Civil War all female roles on the public stage were played by boys and men. The Puritans closed all theatres in 1642 and it was only at the Restoration of the monarchy, in 1660, that a professional actress appeared on the British stage for the first time. She appeared as Desdemona in The Moor of Venice [Othello] on 8th December 1660. Although the role is known, the name of the actress is not."

-- The Theatre Museum, "Britain's National Museum of the Performing Arts"…

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Which woman was on stage today?

Most websites, it seems, credit Margaret Hughes as the first woman to act in a play. But others, which seem more authoritative, say we don't know -- however, either Hughes or Anne Marshall are good picks. There were, by the way, actress-singers in "The Seige of Rhodes" (by William D'Avenant) which "is considered one of the first English operas." Part 1 appeared in 1656, Part 2 in 1659.

"The official date for the first woman to appear on stage is December 8, 1660, when Thomas Killigrew's company performed Othello with a female actress in the role of Desdemona. The name of this pioneering woman is unknown, however, as it was never recorded. Credit is usually given to Anne Marshall, a career actress, or Margaret Hughes, who later became the mistress of Prince Rupert (Charles II's cousin).…

vincent  •  Link

Harry: 'tis why he went on a binge that night."...having drunk so much wine that my head was troubled and was not very well all night..."

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Re Rick's comment about the Thames freezing and the old London Bridge. It should also be remembered that the Thames in London is tidal to Teddington Lock beyond Twickenham, and that salt-water needs a lower temperature to freeze than fresh water. But because the old London Bridge restricted the flow so much, the water upstream would have been fresher (or at least less saline) and have a greater propensity to freeze for this reason too (until 1831 when the mediaeval bridge was finally demolished).

Edith Lank  •  Link

smoked meat --
After he came to the States, my husband, who was born in Quebec, badly missed Montreal smoked meat. I understand it's only lightly smoked and doesn't travel well. It is indeed beef -- brisket.

eileen d.  •  Link

"...who were in a great fear that we had committed a great error of 100,000l. in our late account gone into the Parliament..."

as a former accountant, I too was aghast at the thought of such an error! If Sam had been truly worried, I think he would have mentioned it (e.g. "at which I was greatly troubled"). That there is no such comment leads me to believe he had no serious doubts about the accuracy.

Which further leads me to wonder about the source of the allegation. Any guesses? Was W Penn a worry wart? political rivals? I would think such an error would cause a juicy scandal.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the wind I observed was rose exceedingly before I went to bed."

Dr D.J. Schove writes: 'This gale (probably from the southwest) was severe all over England. York and Beverley minsters were damaged by it. See Mirabilis Annus (1661), pp. 47-8; J. Goad, Astro-Meteorologica (1686), p. 293; Yorks. Arch. Journ., 17/142. (L&M footnote)

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